Now, this is interesting. Alert readers will have noticed (by which we mean “be sick of us banging on about”) the fact that we recently conducted a poll which suggested the Yes and No votes were a lot closer than the media portrayal, and the media blanked it with a bunch of feeble excuses including “you had a satirical option in one of your questions”, “you used leading wording” and “we were all on holiday that week”.
We’re not making that last one up.
The media coverage we got for our troubles was a nasty smear campaign (warning: image Not Safe For Anyone). On the other hand, despite being at the beach and the zoo and goodness knows where else, the Scottish press managed to splash another poll a couple of weeks later, showing a massive lead for No, all over the front pages.
The fishy smell, though, was about to get a lot stronger.
First, last night saw the revelation that the Devo Plus poll showing a 2:1 lead for No used its own convoluted, confusing and leading version of the referendum question.
That’s quite the most tortured way of turning one question (“Should Scotland be an independent country?”) into a very different one (“Should Scotland leave the United Kingdom?”) that we’ve seen for a while, but mysteriously the media that berated us for not asking the question directly and straightforwardly no longer had any objections to the same practice, as long as it delivered a result they liked better.
And then this happened.
That’s the front-page story from today’s Courier, also reported on the front page of the Scottish Sun. At the time of writing it doesn’t appear in any other papers. But what DO they consider the big Scottish politics stories of the day?
SCOTTISH DAILY EXPRESS
Is there even a debate about this stuff any more? Can ANYONE construct a believable case that Scotland’s media are reporting the referendum fairly and even-handedly? We’d like to see them try. Scotland’s mainstream national press is now simply, in the most literal sense of the word, incredible.